Proposal to Hawkes Bay Museum, Napier, New Zealand, April, 2005


David Vaughan Rogers

An immersive earthquake experience incorporating an earthquake simulator and a High Definition authentic video simulation based around the 1931 Napier Earthquake. The installation will use a twin video projection and two rear projection screens measuring 5.5m W x 3.2m H. An audience of up to 20 persons at any one time would be able to move through this environment. The distance between the two screens is 4.0 m.
The video simulation would begin with an authentic and modelled walk by of Hastings St Napier. Period cars, and trams would be moving along the street, people move about. The shop architecture is exactly as it was only minutes before 1931 earthquake. Based on actual accounts of the earthquake, the simulator would lift vertically. Everything is still for the next 30 seconds, apprehension builds, persons appear startled. The audio begins to roar, the simulator shakes violently from side to side horizontally. The S wave follows with vertical movement of the floor pieces. The simulator operates for approximately the next 2 1/2 minutes in both directions. The video simulation continues! Street frontage archictecture collaspes, timber beams and columns fracture, shop awnings and tin roofing falls down. Tram powerlines come down, tracks buckle, smoke and dust everywhere. Pandamonium! The earthquake finishes, the fires begin!
The installation will be a walk through environment with No seating. A handrail would be built into the room which is attached to the simulator and moves with it. The audio coming from the room would work as an attraction and draw people to it.

The concept with this designed walk through environment would be a symbolic gesture towards the idea that Napier and Hawkes Bay in general survived the disastrous events of 1931 and moved on and is what it is today. The installation will also work as a gateway between the new museum development and the existing museum layout.

The simulator measures 5.2m in length x 3.3m in width, standing at 1.5m in height. A unique aspect of the simulator is that its has both horizontal and vertical movement and offers an authentic earthquake experience by having both P Wave and S Wave operation.

An important consideration for the installation is the distant between the two screens. The drawings included in this proposal indicate a distance of 4.0m between screens. It is possible that a greater distance could be required of beteen 6.0m to 8.0m between screens allowing for a longer focal field for audience viewing. Testing will be required before determining the distant between screens.

The video requirements incorporate the usage of rear projection screens and a synchonised twin video projection system. A downside to rear projection systems is the distance required for the video projectors to be from the screen. For example a 1:1 projection ratio would require the projector to be 6.0m from the screen if the width of the projection is to be 6.0m wide.

To mimimise the space requirements for the installation, tiled Plasma or LCD screens could be implemented. Unfortunately a flat walled video projection system could be cost prohibitive as ideally a twin rear projection system would cost approximately $150,000 (AUD)

Please click HERE to view video systems and recommended companies contacted.

The price for the Earthquake Simulator is $250,000 (AUD)

This price includes the following;
  • Onsite installation, operator training and operation manuals.
  • All freight costs from Sydney, Australia to Napier, New Zealand.
  • Refurbished steel sub frame, top frame and steel floor panels incorporating sandblasting and painting.
  • Overhauled hydraulic system incorporating new seals throughout plus spares.
  • Customised control system using Labview software running on the Linux operating system.
  • A flexible rubber membrane floor covering.

    The price of $250,000 (AUD) does NOT include the following;

  • Concrete foundations and site preparation required for earthquake simulator.
  • Onsite electrical terminations for hydraulic powerpack and rotary screw compressor.
  • New Zealand import duties if any.

    A maintenance schedule for the hydraulic system for the earthquake simulator would require the following;

  • Yearly change of oil and filters throughout $2500 (AUD)
  • Three Yearly overhaul of hydraulic seals throughout system $12-15000 (AUD)

    The price for the commisioned Audio Visual content would be approximately $100,000 (AUD).

    This price includes fees and services for the following;
  • Upto a 6 minutes of high end video simulation modelled on the 1931 Napier Quake including dynamic audio.
  • This simulation will be modelled around the actual archictecture of Hastings street Napier, pre the 1931 quake. In consultation with the likes of the Earthquake Engineers and the NZ Earthquake Commission this video simulation will model how Hastings St Napier collapsed during the 1931 quake
  • The video creation will involve the skills of 3 animators using Maya software (As used by Weta Studios for the Lord Of The Rings Trilogy). The video simulation will take approximately 2 months to animate, render and composite. The research for the video simulation could take up to six months.
  • The video simulation will be triggered by the Earthquake Simulator control system.

    The price of approx $100,000 (AUD) does not include the following;

  • Video projection and sound equipment.
  • Projection screen.
  • Electrical termination of A/V equipment and supply and fitting of appropriate lighting and safety Exit signs.

    DOWNLOAD for pricing breakdown in Microsoft Word format.


    David Vaughan Rogers Biography

    Matthew Gidney IMDB Biography

    Maya Visual Modelling Software

    Video Systems And Projection Screens